Can't make trade deal with China until I sit with Xi Jinping

Hopes riding high on U.S.-China trade talks but reality paints a dimmer outlook

No specific plans for a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping were announced, but Trump said there could be more than one meeting. "This is going to be a very big deal", he said, "or it's going to be a deal that we'll just postpone for a little".

"The idea of just grabbing (technology) however they can is kind of ingrained at this point", said Amanda DeBusk, chair of the worldwide trade practice at Dechert LLP and a former Commerce Department official.

Lighthizer stays out of the limelight but shares President Donald Trump's mistrust of China and believes it poses a threat to USA economic power.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will visit the Asian nation in mid-February to hold the next round of talks.

"They started on a smaller scale", he said, describing the new pledge as "tremendous".

Wilder, who directed East Asian affairs for the National Security Council under President George W. Bush, suggested the two leaders could huddle on Hainan Island, off the southern Chinese coast.

Trump has threatened to raise tariffs on $200 billion of goods to 25 percent from 10 percent on March 2 if an agreement can not be reached.

"We're not going to know if those structural changes are going to take place (in China). that can't happen by March 1 but because the atmospheric around these trade talks are likely to be very positive, especially when President Trump meets (China's) Liu He, the markets are going to take that as a sign that progress has been made". "China does not want an increase in Tariffs and feels they will do much better if they make a deal".

Trump earlier this month at a Rose Garden press conference boasted that he'd taken "billions and billions of dollars in tariffs from China, and from others" to the great benefit of the United States.

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The Journal quoted anonymous sources as saying Chinese proposals mostly involved more purchases of US farm and energy products and promises to invite more American capital into China's manufacturing and financial services sectors.

The confusion was clarified a couple hours after the Oval Office scene, with a White House official saying the "Chinese will purchase 5 million MT of soybeans", using shorthand for metric tons. The meeting underscores the dialogue's seriousness.

United States soybean sales to China, which totalled 31.7 million tonnes in 2017, were largely cut off in the second half of past year by China's retaliatory tariffs, and the latest announcement drew a positive reaction from Mr Trump.

But compelling China to reform its trade policies and treatment of foreign companies will be hard.

"China's top trade negotiators are in the US meeting with our representatives".

A deal for additional Chinese purchases of American goods can be completed quickly.

The U.S. complaints, along with accusations of Chinese cyber theft of American trade secrets and a systematic campaign to acquire U.S. technology firms, were used by Trump's administration to justify punitive tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports.

The U.S.is insisting that any deal should be enforceable and Lighthizer called that idea "foundational" on Thursday.

President Trump added that while China has agreed to some opening in its markets, he expects more for a trade deal to be done. "Hopefully, they're going to buy lots of corn and lots of wheat and lots of everything else that we have, but they're also talking heavy technology, heavy manufacturing services and everything else", Trump said.

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